Exercise ball buying guide!
If you walk into any fitness gym or a physical therapy office, chances are you will find at least one exercise ball (also known as a stability ball, physio ball, Swiss ball, or yoga ball) on their floor.
Swiss balls may be used for stability training, strength training, and balance training.
It has a tremendous advantage for your balance and core strength.
Many physical therapists use exercise balls in their clinics to have patients perform rehabilitation exercises to improve their flexibility, stability, and strength.
Not All Exercise Balls Are Created Equal
Whether you’re using an exercise ball for rehabs or balance and core strength training, you want to make sure you get a high quality ball.
As with many fitness equipment, not all balls are created equal despite what their labels may indicate.
It’s your best interest to stick to a proven brand that meets the demands of your training program, but how do you really know which brand offers quality Swiss Balls and which one doesn’t?
Lucky for you, we, the Fitwirr team have been using and testing many exercise balls at our office to seek out the best quality exercise balls we can recommend to you.
Also our fitness professionals have decades of experience using stability balls from different brands and they shared their favorites with us.
After all, choosing a reliable exercise ball that is durable, safe, and right fit is critical to establishing proactive exercise routine.
Durability + Burst Resistance = Safety
One key quality we looked for in an exercise ball is durability, in another word, burst-resistance.
Balls with an anti-burst rating of 500kg or greater are the best, especially if you plan on using additional weight.
It the rating is not stated, it most likely falls between 100 ~ 200kg, which is very low.
Your stability ball must be able to withstand your body-weight plus any additional weight.
Another reason we look for anti-burst technology is for your safety.
If your exercise ball becomes punctured for any reason, anti-burst technology resists compression under load, particularly during exercise and allows it to slowly deflate.
Just imagine the danger of your ball bursting during exercise.
You will not only fall flat on the floor but face a major risk of injuries. We highly advice against taking the risk.
When you think of Swiss balls, think of car tires and how they wear off. Jus as most tires do, frequent and heavy use and less durable material cause Swiss balls to lose their burst resistance much faster.
If you plan to make a Swiss ball part of your daily exercise routine, be on the look out for durability and burst resistance technology.
Our Top Pick: duraBall
Best Burst-Resistance Technology
duraBall Pro Plus and duraBall Max have been tested to ensure product consistency.
For burst-resistance to a load of 500kg, they tested with static loads well in excess of 4,000kg. It does not guarantee (as with any other balls) puncture-free, but it is equipped with most protection from explosive deflation.
DuraBall Swiss Balls are designed to take approximately 30 seconds to deflate if accidentally punctured.
It may still not be 100% puncture proof, but their quality program has achieved exceptionally low numbers of faulty balls. Compare to 10-15% return rate of some European and Asian balls, duraBall has had a rate of less than 0.2%.
Three Swiss Ball Products from duraBall
Duraball Pro Plus - Burst-resistance rating of of 500kg. Smooth surface. Available in 55cm, 65cm, and 75cm.
Duraball Max -Burst resistance of 750kg (The strongest and safest Swiss Balls in the world). Non-slip surface. Available in 55cm and 65cm.
sensaBall - Improve your circulation and ease back tension with a Swiss Ball covered with sensory nodes. It’s a great alternative to back and body massage when rolling over the ball. The sensaBall can also be used as a conventional chair or for stretching routines.
The smaller size makes a great foot stool for tired and aching feet. Available in 55cm and 65cm.
Choosing the right size exercise ball for your height:
The balls are sized in centimeters, and at 10cm increments.
- 5’0” and under – 45cm
- 5’1” – 5’7” – 55cm
- 5’8” – 6'1" - 65cm
- 6’2” and over – 75cm
While these are first measures of sizing up your exercise ball, another way to ensure the right fit is to test it out in person.
When sitting on the ball, your feet should be able to touch and plant flat on the floor. You knees should form a 90 degree angle (your thighs parallel to the floor).